I just got my wheels back from Stutzmans and took them to a paint shop for painting. The owner told me I should put the tires on first, then have them painted so I don't scratch the paint putting the tires on. Although I see the reasoning in this method I personally think I should have them painted first so the inside of the rim gets painted. Any thoughts? And please don't try to talk me into staining them - I refinish antique furniture as a hobby and I love the look of aged, natural wood but I'm also a purist and want my T to look as Henry intended with painted wheels. Believe me, I agonized over paint vs stain but the purist won out.
Bill, I painted my two wheels I got from Stutzmans also prior to putting on the tires. I also took Joe Bell's advice and put "Kwik-Poly" on them first, to seal up the grain. Really turned out nice. Only had to touch up two small spots on the rim after Joe mounted the tires for me. (Arthritis prevented me from mounting 'em!)
I'm with you. I prefer my wheels black. I also agree on painting with the tires off. Just be careful and gentle when you install the tires.
My buddy has some tire irons that he covered in Plasti-Dip (the liquid tool grip maker). It helps a lot because then he doesn't have the metal tools on the paint. A couple of times the tool's coating has gotten worn and he just wire brushes it off and re-dips them.
I would paint the inside with multiple coats of high quality rattle can paint like Valspar and then mount the tires before sending them to the paint shop. I'm glad to hear you're painting instead of staining them. Not only is it correct, it even looks better I think.
You can mount the tires with a heavy rubber mallet without scratching the rims. I paint the wheels first.
You can also paint the inside of the rim hoop first then mount the tires, then care free paint the wheels. I've done it both ways, prefer painting the inside touching the tire first. Saves a lot of headache.
You can mount the tire first, and use the old school playing card masking method. Afterwards, remove them and fully inflate.
Have you considered running the vehicle on the bare rims ? I see a lot of guys doing that on the COPS TV show.
The cops might have a harder time catching you if you run it down the rails like a track inspection car.
I'm with Dave. Paint the inside yourself where no one can see it, then mount the tires and have the professional shop do the rest.
Best of both worlds. Consider using the epoxy appliance enamel on the insides, it will be there long after we're gone.
Thanks for the advice everyone; I especially like the idea of dipping the tire tools in Plasti-dip! I'm taping off the inside hub areas, but I'm not sure if the inside of the rear hub gets painted or not? Does it matter?
No reason not to paint inside the rear hub, but just make sure you tape off the inside of the drum brake surface as well as the taper and keyway - don't want any paint in those places.
Professional restorers always mount the tires first, then mask and then paint, then remove the masking. It's the way it's done professionally.
And, it's the way I have always done it because that is how Ralph Cherry taught me in 1958. But when powder coating you mount tires after due to the heat. They do now have a low temp powder coating medium.
Mounting first makes a better job on the rim where it meets the tire. You can paint first and then use wooden battens to slip the tire over the rim.
I just put four new tires on my wire wheels with the "garbage bag method" in less than a half hour. You can see how to do it on You Tube. I can't see why it wouldn't work on clinchers or other demountables. It didn't scratch the paint, and since i laid the rims on a piece of plywood to protect them, started the tires on the rim by hand, and then basically stood on the tires and shuffled my feet around the rim until the tire completely popped on the rim, there was no sweating involved. Those few pounds I gained this winter being snowbound did help pop those tires on with authority though.
Hmm, back when I made a living restoring cars, I always painted the wheels sans tires. And I recommend GOOD paint for the insides of the rim--you want the paint to protect the rim and resist all the bad things that can happen inside a tire.
Coating the tire iron is a great idea. I have used small pieces of leather to rest the iron on so the leather keeps the tire iron from touching the rim. It works for me.